Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Science




Dr Elizabeth Gillies


In recent years, degradable polymers have become increasingly researched for their applications in drug delivery systems, adhesives, and tissue engineering. Self-immolative polymers (SIPs) are of particular utility due to predictable end-to-end backbone depolymerization after a stimuli-responsive end-cap cleavage. There are examples of incorporating a hydrophobic SIP into an amphiphilic block-copolymer, followed by self-assembly in aqueous media forming various nanoparticle morphologies. However, their self-assembly behaviour has not been described in detail, and there are no general synthetic methods that allow for their synthesis with good control over the relative hydrophilic block ratio, the major factor controlling their morphology. This thesis presents the synthesis of a self-immolative poly(carbamate) with a photo-active end-cap linked to a poly(ethylene)glycol (PEG) hydrophilic block and an attempt at poly(2-(N,N-dimethylamine)-ethyl-methacrylate) (PDMAEMA). These copolymers were self-assembled in aqueous media to form vesicles, micelles and inverted micelles. These nanoparticles were loaded with nile red, and their degradation was monitored by the release of the cargo.